Monday, May 16, 2011

Miss Information is virtually annoyed

One of Miss Information's duties is to staff the online reference service. Usually this is kind of fun. The questions aren't hard--people want to renew their items but can't find the renewal button. This is a bit strange because the renewal button is way easier to locate than the online reference link, which is cleverly hidden. In any case, that's about as hard as it gets.

This week however, she was confronted by an actual reference question. The kid(?) signed in as JT and wanted to know what the "inescapable past" is in the movie The Blind Side. Miss Information showed him the databases, made some suggestions and wished the kid well. Not so fast. The kid wasn't happy. He(?) didn't want to do research. He just needed to know what the "inescapable past" is in The Blind Side, so pony up the answer, librarian.

Sadly, The Blind Side sounds like a feel-good movie completely devoid of explosions and car chases. Therefore Miss Information has not seen it. Nevertheless she could probably read a few reviews and figure out the answer but who's doing the assignment anyway? She pushed a few more pages at the kid and urged him to check out some of the fabulous databases the library provides. He didn't want to. Ok. Miss Information suggested he go to his local branch and check out some print sources. Nope. Can't do that because there are no libraries in his neighbourhood. Unlikely but ok. How about calling the main reference library and talking to a librarian? Nope. Doesn't have a phone. All righty. How about the school library? They might have some sources he could use. Not gonna do that. The kid just wanted the answer.

To Miss Information it seemed like one of those things teachers assign to students to make them think about stuff. She suggested the kid watch the movie. He had. He still didn't know the answer. Miss Information suggested that maybe he should watch it again.

The online reference service is intended to be a quick referral service. Miss Information was online with this kid for over 30 minutes or about a third of the time it takes to watch a movie.


At 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and this is why i always hated online reference, since more often than not, this crap occurred. it is also why i hate online anonymous school children.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger A'Llyn said...

At some point I would have been very tempted to just make up an answer.

Like "hatred of tapioca."

Or "the TARDIS."

Or "handlebar mustaches."

Or "the sense of impending doom that arises when someone wants to make you do your own homework."

At 12:21 AM, Blogger infoqueen said...

So...what is the "inescapable past"?


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